Boothbay Harbor Planning Board

Proposed food cart, blasting, subdivision rules to go to hearing, selectmen

Sun, 01/12/2020 - 8:15am

The Boothbay Harbor Planning Board voted Jan. 8 to send recommended ordinance amendments on mobile food vending, blasting and subdivisions to selectmen, who had asked the panel to work on the issues.

The planning board spent the last several months exploring the issue; town codes lack regulations specific to food carts and other mobile vending. Members agreed the uses should be limited to private property, the processes for regular businesses should apply, and the use should be limited to the general business and downtown business districts. Among those rules, an application would need to provide evidence the property could support the additional use.

Member John Hochstein said he felt Boothbay Harbor Memorial Library should be asked how the rules might affect it. “My concern is that they're being targeted and I don't think that is the intent of this. But who is going to be affected by this? On private property, the library is the one that stands out.”

Acting chair Chris Swanson and Code Enforcement Officer Geoff Smith said they would follow up with BHML's board of trustees before a public hearing.

Smith said he spoke with Department of Environmental Protection's Colin Clark to get a preliminary review, and Clark’s only major concern is for the rules to ensure no mobile food vending over the water.

Board members discussed if such language should be included, despite being in the shoreland zoning rules. Bill Hamblen suggested the board may want to include the language so there would be little chance of DEP kicking back the ordinance. However, other members felt since it already appears in town codes, the board would consider the rule during application reviews.

“If we have a shoreland overlay zone that tells you all this stuff somewhere else, I'm saying no,” member Jon Dunsford said.

Hamblen moved to include language covering no over-the-water uses and Swanson seconded the motion. The motion failed 3-2 with Hochstein, Lee Corbin and Jon Dunsford opposed.

In a separate motion to exclude language specifying over-the-water uses, the board unanimously passed a recommendation for language governing mobile food vendors.

Blasting and subdivisions

The board discussed requiring a receipt of certified mail notifying homeowners within 350 feet of a blasting site seven days before the scheduled blast. The language was added to the proposed blasting ordinance and the board voted unanimously to forward their recommendations.

Hamblen and Corbin were tasked with deciphering ambiguous language on subdivision rules on the waterfront. The two found that the setback measurement for subdivisions on a waterfront – “200 feet, plus an addition 10 feet for every unit/lot” – should be taken perpendicularly. The board voted unanimously to forward the recommendation.

What's next?

Selectmen can do one of four things for each recommendation: Reject it, send it back for further review, change it, or send it on to a public hearing.

The planning board will holding a public hearing of its own to avoid confusion over the language and to field any concerns. Smith will advertise for a Feb. 19 public hearing.